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Governor, not deputy CM, should confirm if Raj Bhavan extended invitation to Shinde to form govt: NCP

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday said that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, and not Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, should confirm whether Raj Bhavan officially extended invitation to the leader of majority to form the government of Maharashtra in 2022.

“In a startling RTI revelation, Raj Bhavan has denied any such letter being issued to Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadanvis, which has now raised constitutional questions regarding the formation of the government. Why did Governor Koshyari not follow the due process of law?” NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase asked.

The NCP pointed out that within days of this disclosure, Governor Koshyari has expressed desire to relinquish his office. The party said the Raj Bhavan seems to have gone silent on the issue, and the deputy CM “has to speak for the Governor, which is highly unacceptable”.

Said Tapase: “RTI activist Santosh Jadhav who had demanded a photocopy of the letter was told that no outward number of any such letter existed and hence, no further information is available regarding any letter being sent to Shinde and Fadanvis regarding formation of government.”

The NCP leader stated: “A leader desirous of forming the government and having the required numerical strength approaches the Governor, who, if convinced, invites the leader of the majority to stake claim… This is the established practice that Raj Bhavan has to follow as per the Constitution. In this case, if the Governor’s office has no record of any such letter of invitation to Shinde and Fadanvis, how did Koshyari administer the oath of office to both?”

Tapase said the Governor needed to clarify on the subject “as it may have political ramifications”.

He said, “Fadnavis’s claim that Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had conspired to put him in jail is malicious and false,” adding that, on the contrary, it was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has jailed many leaders from the UPA.

“The fear of ED (Enforcement Directorate) and other central agencies is such that now imposters claiming to be officials of the agencies are making fake raids and extorting money from gullible citizens as has happened in Zaveri Bazaar case in Mumbai. We have faith in the central agencies but we feel that the BJP is misusing them,” said Tapase.

The NCP leader also criticized Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for his statement comparing Mumbai to a dance bar due to the decorative lights installed in street lamps.

“It is very shocking that Raj Thackeray has used the word ‘Dance Bar’ for Mumbai and has directly insulted Mumbaikars. He must apologise for his comment,” he said.

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